2019/20 Opposition Guide: Ipswich Town

Ahead of Wanderers' 2019/20 Sky Bet League One campaign, bwfc.co.uk will profile the various opponents the team will be pitting their wits against this term.

Next up, we have Ipswich Town...

Nickname: The Blues, The Tractor Boys, Town

Founded: 1878 

Stadium: Portman Road

Capacity: 30,311

2018/19 Finish: 24th in Sky Bet Championship

2018/19 Top Scorer: Gwion Edwards and Freddie Sears - 6 goals in all competitions

Manager: Paul Lambert

A seasoned manager in the English game, Paul Lambert unfortunately couldn't keep Ipswich in the second tier of English football last term but will be hoping to guide them back to the Sky Bet Championship at the first time of asking in 2019/20.

Starting his playing career as a midfielder with St Mirren in the mid-1980s, he turned professional with the Paisley outfit and proceeded to rack up over 220 league appearances for them over a seven-year period.

Moving to Motherwell in 1993, he enjoyed three seasons at Fir Park before a year in Germany with Borussia Dortmund.

Returning to his native Scotland in 1997, he agreed terms with Celtic and remained at Celtic Park until 2005 before hanging up his boots after a player-manager stint with Livingston in 2006.

Moving into full-time management with Wycombe Wanderers, he spent two years with the club before a year with Colchester United.

Taking over the reins at Norwich City in 2009, he remained at Carrow Road for three years, leading them to back-to-back promotions, ensuring that they played Premier League football for the first time since 2005 in 2011/12.

Following the Canaries' survival in the top flight however, Lambert moved to Aston Villa and oversaw three years in the top division before leaving Villa Park in February 2015.

Joining Blackburn Rovers later that year, he secured the Ewood Park outfit's Championship status on the final day of the 2015/16 season but stepped down after the conclusion of the campaign.

Taking over at Wolverhampton Wanderers meanwhile in November 2016, he secured a mid-table finish for the Molineux outfit but departed the Midlands side at the end of the following May.

Out of management for eight months, he was snapped up by Stoke in January 2018 as they looked to preserve their top flight status. Unfortunately however, he was unsuccessful in his task and left the Britannia at the end of the campaign.

On October 27, 2018, he was appointed manager of Ipswich Town but again was unable to prevent his side from slipping through the trapdoor, with the Tractor Boys finishing bottom of the Sky Bet Championship come the conclusion of 2018/19.

Distance From The University Of Bolton Stadium: 244 miles

Getting To Portman Road

Ipswich Town Football Club 
Portman Road 
IP1 2DA 

By Car: Make your way to the A14, joining it at the start from the M6 or M1, or near Huntingdon from the A1.  If you are not sure whether to use the M1 or A1, Ipswich suggest that the A1 tends to be slightly less congested, and has easier work-arounds in the event of major delays. 

The A14 is a very busy road throughout the day, carrying most of the container traffic from the port of Felixstowe, as well as linking the M11 to the A1. 

The section of the A14 between Huntingdon and Cambridge is always very busy, even at weekends. If you are lucky enough to avoid delays, then beware of average speed cameras which cover about 25 miles from Huntingdon to the east of Cambridge.  

Also note that there are long-term roadworks and speed restrictions on the A14 between Huntingdon and Cambridge, as the entire section is being rebuilt.

This is causing even worse delays than you would normally expect on that stretch, and occasional full overnight closures.

Sat navs vary in their recommended route into town, but whichever way you go, it shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes from the A12 or A14 to the ground. 

For those without sat nav, once you reach the junction of the A12 and A14, just south of Ipswich, take the A1214 (London Road) for a couple of miles into town. 

As you approach the town centre area, there is a Sainsbury’s supermarket on the left – at this point, go straight on past Sainsbury’s and then almost immediately right onto West End road. 

Take the first left (after about half a mile) onto Sir Alf Ramsey Way and you will arrive at Portman Road.  

Travelling By Train: Ipswich station is only five to 10 minutes’ walk from the ground.

For away fans, there are two main train routes into Ipswich, from London and from Peterborough.

The Peterborough option may be easier or cheaper if you are travelling from anywhere that passes that way, but trains are at best hourly and there are limited options post-match with none at all after evening games.

From London, there are two to three trains an hour, all from London Liverpool Street. 

Parking: There is no official stadium car park, but there is parking all around the ground.  The closest is a large NCP on Portman Road (right by the away end), which usually has spaces up to at least 45 minutes before kick-off.

There is also a large car park on West End Road (five minutes’ walk away) and at the railway station (less than 10 minutes). 

The town centre is less than 10 minutes’ walk, and has numerous car parks. Being a town centre ground, most streets are controlled (residents only) parking, so free on-road parking tends to be at least a 20-minute walk away. 

Official Away Pub: The Station Hotel (formerly the Riverside Hotel) is opposite the station, and is the official away pub.

Most of the other pubs close to the ground are home fans only, and few pubs around the town, if any, will welcome groups of away fans. 

Head to Head: Wanderers and Ipswich have previously met on 35 occasions in league and cup, with the Tractor Boys currently edging ahead with victories, boasting 20 as opposed to the Whites' 13.

Last season, the spoils were shared down at Portman Road in a 0-0 draw, with the Suffolk outfit running out 2-1 winners at the University of Bolton Stadium in April 2019.

Read Time: 5 mins